The soundtrack of New York City is silence broken by sirens. The Governor of New York State is inserting schtick and routine into his daily pressers, presumably to bring levity to the daily briefings in which death counts, budget cuts, and unemployment is the constant script.
We are coming up on the “apex” of the curve, and according to state projections, we will be living in the eye of the proverbial storm just in time for Easter and Passover.
According to the Governor, we have six days worth of ventilators left, and many of them are headed out to Long Island to deal with the increasing number of hospitalizations there, as he shifts supplies and patients in hopes for more efficiency in our new unified hospital system.
The lines of communication at the New York State Department of Labor are crashing as the system is deluged with claims, many can’t pay their rent this month, and the city is starting to open up their free meal program to adults. Parks are closed; refrigerated trucks and vans are all over the five boroughs, storing bodies until they make their way to overwhelmed funeral homes or into a hole on Hart Island, dug by a prisoner who didn’t qualify for release, who was promised a mask and a pair of latex gloves for the effort. Politicians are waging what seems like far away battles for things that will decide the quality of life in our novel new world and people, feeling powerless, are sewing cloth masks that our officials finally admitted were useful.
This is what it feels like to be in NYC today, April 2nd 2020, the day we confirmed 1 million world wide cases of COVID-19.
In other words, the next month promises to be a real doozy! Here is a collection of links, articles, factoids, and places to find relief.
Ventilators, Ventilators, Ventilators!
- Right now The federal Government is sending 400 more ventilators to New York City after Mayor Bill de Blasio gave a projection at the beginning of the week that we would be out of supplies by Sunday, April 5th if there wasn’t some relief on the way.
- Governor Andrew Cuomo gave a run down of how we are trying to stretch the ventilator supply.
- Converting anesthesia ventilators
- “Splitting” ventilator tubes so two patients can share a ventilator.” NYT wrote a piece headlined “The Other Option is Death,” about the untested and “risky,” practice. Read it HERE.
- Converting BiPAP machines into ventilators. Read more about how that works HERE. *This is an article written by and for the company that is working on the conversion.
Masks On, Masks Off
- Mayor Bill de Blasio and his medical support staff reversed their language today and strongly recommended that all New Yorkers wear ‘face coverings’ (masks) when out of their homes.
- They said they make this recommendation in the wake of new studies showing that asymptomatic transmission of COVID-19 is possible.
- Didn’t we know that already? According to the Mayor:
- “There just wasn’t evidence.”
- Also, there was a concern that if people were told to wear masks it would give people a false sense of security and that they wouldn’t pay attention to the recommendations of handwashing and social distancing.
- The Mayor said he was not anticipating enforcement at this point.
- Governor Cuomo announced that he’d be collecting inventory reports from each hospital of the necessary supplies and PPE, and that all hospital stockpiles be sent to a central State stockpile, for more coordinated distribution through his Central Coordinating Team.
- We don’t yet know if that survey will be publicly available.
- A New York Times report throws cold water on the hopes and promises of the USNS Comfort, a ship that, until direct intervention from Governor Cuomo to President Trump, sat mostly empty in New York Harbor.
- The ship was set up as an overflow hospital to handle non-COVID patients, but its ban on COVID-positive people on board, combined with its list of 49 conditions that it wouldn’t take, and made worse by a bureaucratic process of admission, made it virtually useless.
- Read the full report here: The 1,000-Bed Comfort Was Supposed to Aid New York. It Has 20 Patients.
- The New York Post got to look inside the Maimonides hospital complex in Fort Hamilton. Read the full story.
- The City wrote about what life is like recovering in one of the requisitioned ‘coronavirus hotels.’ Read the full story here.
Money and Relief
- Small Businesses should apply for loans from the Federal Paycheck Protection Program tomorrow. “First come, first serve,” says Mayor Bill de Blasio.
- $350 billion in funds designed to help small businesses pay their employees, via a very friendly loan.
- The loans are forgivable if the recipient continues to pay their employees what they earned pre-COVID.
- Here’s an analysis from the Tax Foundation on the meat of the program.
- The city offers unused school lunches to adults in need.
- Mayor de Blasio announced that the services that provided free food to children would now be open to everyone.
- The services were instituted in lieu of school lunches, since schools are closed.
- There are 435 of these sites around the city. To find the sites, you can:
- Call 311
- Go to nyc.gov
- Text FOOD or COMIDA to 877-877
- 7:30am-11:30am: Kids, and families with kids
- 11:30am-1:30pm: Adults
Vulnerable New Yorkers: House Cleaners
- A report from The City highlights the danger house cleaners live and work under.
- Scrounging for resources and PPE, on call to clean and disinfect spaces for others, but vulnerable to exposure themselves.
- It follows up this earlier reporting, showing that many of the areas with the most cases are populated by service workers.
- Read the full story in The City. (The City)
- Vice reported today that, according to leaked notes from an Amazon executive meeting, the company planned a coordinated attack against the employee who organized other warehouse workers in support of greater protections from exposure to COVID-19.
- The meeting attendees called the employee ‘not smart or articulate’ and planned to make him “the face of the entire union/organizing movement.”
- Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was an attendee at the meeting.
- Read the full story here.
NY Budget Passes
The New York State Budget passed today. A lot of smart people did great reporting on it… better than we could do at this late hour.
- Gothamist: Cuomo Calls New State Budget “Robust,” Progressives Call It “Republican Austerity Warfare”
- New York Times: “‘We Can’t Spend What We Don’t Have’: Virus Strikes N.Y. Budget.”
- The New York Post: “State lawmakers OK coronavirus-wracked $177 billion budget”
- The NY Daily News: “N.Y. budget gives Cuomo spending and borrowing control as coronavirus clouds state’s fiscal future”
Court is in Session, but Direct to Video
- In an effort to continue service, but to protect everyone from the dangers of in-person presence, New York’s essential and emergency court proceedings are moving to video by the end of this week.
- Read more in the Queens Daily Eagle.
Takeshi69 ReleasedTekashi 69 Got Out of Jail Early Because of the Coronavirus – Vulture
|Friday 4/17, 1pm
|Monday 4/20, 2:30pm
|– The Bronx
|– Staten Island
|7890(NYC) / 8893(NYS)
|9101(NYC) / 10022(NYS)
This weekend: 1200+ deaths
Here is how to donate to stuff or volunteer if you want
- How to Donate to NYC, from The City
- Produce or Donate Supplies to the City, NYC’s official supply donation platform.
- Use leveler.info to distribute money to workers impacted by COVID-19.
- Volunteer to hand out food
- Give directly to an unemployed person in need.
We’re dealing with something that unfortunately is a bit of a great unknown. The honest truth is to say, this is what we know now and we’re going to act on what we know now and we’re going to tell you how to protect yourself and your family with what we know now. And we’re also telling you all the time, it could change if we learn something new. That is the honest truth. Anyone who wants, you know, the perfect definition of everything related to coronavirus right now – if anyone tells you they can tell you everything about coronavirus and know it perfectly, they’re lying to you, because I have not met a single person, starting from Dr. Fauci, who will tell you that they fully understand this disease at this point.Mayor Bill de Blasio